IL-1β, an important protein for the development of MS, is mainly produced in the central nervous system itself

7 July 2016

BPRC - 1. IL-1β, an important protein for the development of MS, is mainly produced in the central nervous system itself

In the search for new therapies for multiple sclerosis (MS), it is important to understand which substances play a role in the onset and the development of the disease. Research on brain tissue from MS patients and rhesus monkeys with EAE (Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis) as an animal model for MS has provided new insights.

While IL-1β appears to play an important role in MS, it is unclear at what time point during the disease process it is produced, and by which cells. In a partnership with a clinical laboratory BPRC scientists have now demonstrated the presence of IL-1β both in brain tissue from MS patients and in that of rhesus monkeys with EAE. Although there are differences in the exact location and the relative amount of produced IL-1β in MS or EAE diseased brains the data indicate that in both cases IL-1β is mainly produced by cells that are located in the brain. This is an important finding for therapies aimed at blocking IL-1β, because the expectation was that mainly the cells from the blood that penetrate the brains were responsible for the IL-1β production. The results of this study are published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4895983/pdf/12974_2016_Article_605.pdf).